Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Everybody Chromercise!

Back on April Fools Day,  Google set up http://www.chromercise.com/ to promote "A better web through faster fingers".  The site has videos of fingers wearing sweatbands, and working out.  Even though it was obviously a joke, I went ahead and signed up anyways.  Today, this padded envelope was in the mailbox.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sony Dash Teardown / Analysis

Thanks to a couple of very generous people at a recent training class, I am now the owner of a Sony Dash. The dash is part tablet, part fancy alarm clock; basically Sony hardware running a modified (and locked down) linux based Chumby OS.   For me, it has mostly been a nice way to watch Netflix content in bed, or stream internet radio without firing up the PS3 and home stereo.  Unfortunately, the device is a bit limited if you're interested in any features outside of what are offered in the app library.  There is no browser and no shell access.

Many of the consumer complaints regarding the device are related to the lack of battery (portability), and the poor audio quality at higher volumes.  Adding a battery seems to be a possiblity, given the someone decent amount of extra space inside the enclosure.  In this post, I will go over what is required to dissassemble the Dash, and a mild breakdown of the components used in the device.


The Sony Dash in it's natural habitat.





Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ikea Hacking

I needed a good way to fit my MIDI keyboard, and computer keyboard on the same desk and still have room for everything else.  Time for a trip to IKEA




Thursday, August 5, 2010

Controlling Woot-off Lights using the Parallel Port

Here is a cheap recipe for making woot-off lights that actually turn on and spin during a woot off using the parallel port and a small amount of Perl. Stock lights connect to the PC with a USB plug, but supply power only to both lights and motors. By default there is no control over the function of the lights, other than a small on/off switch on the front of each light. I noticed a few people doing similar projects with expensive usb controllers, but since few people use the parallel port on their PCs anymore, creating functioning woot-off lights costs less than $10 including the lights!




Logitech Wingman Reborn

Due to my undying love for this silly old mouse, I decided to give it an upgrade. The old ball system just wasn't working for me any longer, so a transplant was in order.